About the Cypherpunk Guild category

Welcome to the Cypherpunk Guild community forum! Cypherpunks build privacy-enhancing tools, and the Cypherpunk Guild exists to support them.

The Guild’s mission is to establish an effective, ownership-driven grants program to fund cypherpunk initiatives that support NEAR’s vision of a world where people have control over their money, data, and power of governance.

We expect that most topic-posts here will be grant proposals, so when you create a new topic you will be provided with a grant-request template. You can also use this Google-form application, and we will repost your application in the forum for discussion. Other reasonable topics would include suggestions for projects and technologies that the CPG should be pursuing. Note that you can freely update your proposal in response to community feedback.

You can find us in a few other places, e.g. in Twitter @CypherpunkGuild, and a Matrix room: #cypherpunkguild:matrix.org.

Below is some more background about us.


The Cypherpunk Guild Council consists of:

  • Arto Bendiken of NEAR (arto.near)
  • Dani Osorio of NEAR (waverlymaven.near)
  • Evgeny Kuzyakov of NEAR (ek.near)
  • Frank Braun of NEAR (frankbraun.near)
  • Jon Matonis of Cypherpunk Holdings (matonis.near)
  • Yulian Lavysh of NEAR (yulian.near)
  • Ozymandius of the 4NTS Guild (ozymandius.near)

Yulian is the internal project lead, and day-to-day affairs are handled by a small staff, currently program manager Steve Cobb (stevecobb.near).

Who the Cypherpunks Are (and Aren’t)

Cypherpunks are advocates for the widespread use of strong cryptography and technologies that enhance privacy and self-sovereignty. The movement began in the 1980s, but the name was coined in 1992, followed by Eric Hughes’ 1993 A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto.

Notable achievements by cypherpunks include the creation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), PGP, SSL, SSH, BitTorrent, Tor, WikiLeaks, Bitcoin, smart contracts, Zcash, and Signal.

Cypherpunk is not the same as cyberpunk. Cypherpunks are a movement based on a philosophy, while cyberpunk is a genre and a general aesthetic. The 1982 movie Blade Runner remains one of the best embodiments of cyberpunk style: a future of neon lights, rain, and noodle stands. High tech, low life.

Cypherpunks are not synonymous with Anonymous. Cypherpunks defend, Anonymous attacks.

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